More than six out of 10 people who visited here last year would recommend Ireland as a holiday destination.
The Fáilte Ireland survey found Dublin and Galway are most popular with younger tourists, with Cork popular with over 65s.
The survey also found:
nHotels are the most popular choice of accommodation in most destinations, but B&Bs were most popular in Dingle;
nHiking/walking is the most popular activity for visitors to Dingle and the North West, while museums and galleries came out as the top attractions for visitors to Dublin;
nGalway/Mayo, Ring of Kerry, and Dingle are popular with couples, while Cork and the South East are more popular for those with families.
The Fáilte 360: Holidaymaker Survey 2012 looked at the experience of nearly 10,000 overseas and domestic holidaymakers who visited 11 holiday areas across the country last year.
The report examined what tourists experienced and thought about Ireland’s key regions.
Visitors explained why they chose a certain destination, how they researched their trip and sourced their information, as well as where they stayed, chose to eat, and what attractions they visited. The survey found that most visitors would recommend Ireland for a holiday and more than six out of 10 would highly recommend Ireland to their friends and family.
The survey highlighted a number of key trends and insights into what works and what is different across the various tourism locations examined.
Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said the findings showed tourism was in a better place than it was a number of years ago, but there was no room for complacency.
“If we want to continue to attract more overseas visitors to Ireland, we need to know more about what they think, what they like and what they want,” he said. “Tourism is in a good place compared to five years ago but we can’t become complacent.
“In order to draw more visitors to our shores we need to ensure we are providing the right type of holiday experiences — particularly for our overseas markets. In that respect, research like this is a valuable help to all of us in the sector as we continue to develop and improve Ireland’s tourism offering.”
Tourism figures have rebounded strongly in recent months, with the Government putting growth down to the success of its Gathering initiative.
There were more than 1.7m visitors to the country between March and May — an increase of almost one third compared with the same period in 2010.
However, Fáilte Ireland has indicated that Dublin and the country’s other main cities have been benefiting far more than rural destinations.
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